I have a box (a whole box!) of journals and notebooks that I have only half-finished, and as I was investigating them today I found a small notebook that I am sure I have not opened since its last entry six years ago. It is a notebook of phrases, lists, budgets, quotes, and fragments from my year in China. It looks as though I realized that I was having so many new experiences that I would be completely unable to analyze them, so I just wrote down anything notable in hopes of jogging my writing and my memory later. I'm not sure. There is no explanation. In fact, there's no explanation of anything. I didn't even write in the pages in order. It is the best journal I have ever kept, I think. Below is a selection of the hundreds of undated, unexplained, unquantified writings in this notebook. Every single one jogs a memory I've missed, but the memories don't actually matter. These details were the things that mattered.
I wish I had kept a journal like this every day of my life. I plan to re-start tonight.
Tom: "Chinese are always having meetings like this. No meaning."
Badger = happiness.
Thought they were reclusive, but turned out to be German.
Night party in the dam lock. Sunflower seeds, rice cakes, jerky, coffee. Bets on whether we'd go up or down in the dam, we went down (very rapidly).
Back on big boat: my toothbrush fell into our gamgee squatter toilet.
Night bus-- pink blankets. I can see the stars.
Abby getting massage. Me singing to her.
Failed moped adventure.
Almost cried at Brokeback Mountain commercial. Very tired.
Met Dam. Elephant trek. Monkey diving. Danish family.
Could you tell me some stories about cowboy?
Plane snacks-- dried peas and Nescafe.
Salad = mayo on fruit.
Confidence! Confidence! I feel! Every time! I am confidence! Victory! Victory! For everybody. (Jian and his daughter.)